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Directed by

Tessa Louise Pope

“I think you two really made a mess of things.”

In The Origin of Trouble, filmmaker Tessa Louise Pope searches for the reasons behind her father’s absence. She interrogates her dad, John Pope, in a confrontational way. Her Canadian hippy father - also a filmmaker – shows his cheeky and humorist side to protect himself from his daughter’s sharp questions. The struggle between father and daughter unfolds in front of the camera. It soon becomes apparent that not only John has to share his story. Enter the rest of the extended-modern family, who have to come up with some answers as well. 

What causes a father to be absent and what are the consequences of his absence? And why was it so hard for John Pope to be involved in his daughter’s life?

Through archive-material and family stories the director of The Origin of Trouble puts the pieces of her past together. The result is a witty, emotional story about family, love, hope and losses.


  •  Krakow Film Festival, Poland (2017)

  • Won: SILVER DRAGON for the best documentary film

  • Official Selection CILECT Festival, Switzerland (2017)

Won: Best Documentary

  • Keep an Eye Film Festival, The Netherlands (2016)
    Won: VPRO Documantary Award,
    Won: KNF Press Award
    Won:Audience Award

  • Nederlands Film Festival, the Netherlands (2016)
    Won: Tuschinski Award for best Graduation Film
    Won:Wild Card

  • Ruwe Diamant Festival, the Netherlands (2016)

  • Eindhoven Film Festival, the Netherlands (2016)
    Nominated: Best Film, Best Directing, Best Editing

  • Vers Awards, the Netherlands (2016)

  • Flickerfest’s International Short Film Festival, Australia (2017)

  • Vrouw&Film – Internationaal Filmfestival Assen, the Netherlands (2017)
    Won: KersVers Award

  • CPH:DOX, Denmark (2017)
    Nominated: New:Wave Award

  • Go Short, The Netherlands (2017)

  • Won: VEVAM Go Short Award for Best Dutch Short Film

  • Official Selection Docfest, the Netherlands (2017)

  • Official Selection Hancheng International Film Festival, China (2017)

  • Official Selection Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, United States (2017)

  • Official Selection European Film Festival dokumentART, Germany (2017)

  • Official Selection Konstanzer, Germany (2017)

Won: Audience Award

  • Official Selection Hyperfest, Romania (2017)

  • Official Selection Film School Fest Munchen (2017)

Won 2nd prize of the Reformation Award

  • Official Selection Montreal International Documentary Festival, Canada (2017)

  • Official Selection ALCINE - Festival de Cine de Alcalá de Henares, Spain (2017)

Won: Audience Award

  • Official Selection 2ANNAs IFF, Latvia (2017)

  • Official Selection FIDÉ – Festival International du Documentaire Émergent, France (2018) Official Selection Skopje Film Festival, Macedonia (2018)


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